My husband bought me a beautiful hibiscus braided tree from Lowes. I planted it in the yard where I live in northern Kentucky. Will it survive the winter? Or do I need to dig it back up and bring it in for the winter? I love it and don’t want to kill it.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Sue: The hibiscus your husband gave you is considered a tropical for us here in Kentucky. There are hardy hibiscus but yours will not survive our winters, and should be dug up and brought indoors if you want to over-winter it and put it back in the garden next May. When you dig it up, try to get as much of the root system as possible. Start digging farther out from the braided trunk and then work your way in, trying not to damage any of the roots. Choose a container to plant it in that is large enough for the root ball and has drain holes. Bring your hibiscus indoors and place it in a bright room with good filtered light. A south-facing window would be ideal. At this time you can cut back on your fertilizing and your watering. It will not need to be fed until next spring when you take it back outside. As for watering, this will depend on the temperature and humidity of your home. Every seven to 10 days should be sufficient, but check the soil moisture before you water. It is fine to let it dry out before adding more moisture. It will likely not bloom inside, but as long as the foliage stays healthy it will continue to bloom next spring and throughout the summer months. You will probably have some leaf drop when you bring it indoors but this is normal given the change of environment.